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Causes of Behavioral Problems. Overstimulation Breaks in Routines Noise Waiting Time Frustration Physical Problem Stress. Overstimulation. Playing with other children Limit the number of children in activity areas Holidays/celebrations Too many activities planned. Breaks in Routine.

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Causes of Behavioral Problems

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causes of behavioral problems

Causes of Behavioral Problems


Breaks in Routines


Waiting Time


Physical Problem



Playing with other children

Limit the number of children in activity areas


Too many activities planned

breaks in routine
Breaks in Routine

Routines are very important

Confusion occurs when routines are not followed

Explain planned activities

Alternate between quiet and active activities

Talk to the kids ahead of time when there is going to be a planned activity

Give kids 5 minutes transition time


Effects every child differently

To control noise level, control the volume of CDs, records, tapes

Control your own voice

waiting time
Waiting Time

Children behave poorly when they have to wait

Manage time wisely

Cut down on waiting time by being prepared

f rustration

Frustration: The feeling of defeat or discouragement causing tension

Activities need to be developmentally appropriate.

Plan active and quiet activities

Purchase several of the same toys

Select equipment to match developmental level

Let the child select their own activities – forcing a child to participate can cause tension

physical problems
Physical Problems

Can cause tension and behavioral problems

Can be overly-active and tense due to health problems

Medication can affect behavior

Poor and inadequate nutrition can affect behavior

Motor skills and motivation are also affected

Prolonged/reoccurring illnesses can cause frequent absences

Aggressive children need calming influences


Body’s reaction to physical and emotional danger

Occasional stress is normal

Constant, prolonged, or piling up stressors threatens a child’s ability to cope


Children watch how their parents deal with stress.

Children will vary how they handle stress

Negative coping skills they may be more prone to stress, prone to more illness, withdrawn, angry, aggressive, nervous.

Positive coping skills they are more resilient – bounce back quickly




Separation or divorce of parents

Abuse, neglect






Over night stay with friend

New pet

Birth of sibling

day care school can cause stress
Day Care School can cause stress

Starting in a new place

Getting a new teacher

Moving to a new room

Poor quality Program

Insufficient child/adult ratio

Lack of toys/materials

family stressors crisis
Family Stressors/Crisis

Family serve as a buffer or a stressor

Family can be positive or negative

Harmony within the family

Stress disrupts the harmony

Stress can strain a family relationship

Children can sense the stress

family stressors
Family Stressors

Children need security and predictability

If it is lacking children become irritable, may have problems with eating and sleeping, become clingy or demanding

Stressor can be temporary – loss of a job

Permanent – divorce or death

Constantly active – sometimes the kids needs are overlooked

Families need time to unwind with each other

family stresses
Family Stresses

Children will react differently depending on how threatening the stress is

Some children feel guilty that they are the reason for a separation, divorce, etc. This can cause stress

Reassure children that the stress is not the child’s fault

effects of stress
Effects of Stress

Prolonged stress in early childhood can undermine healthy brain development

Consistent, predictable and responsive care is needed

“Good beginnings can last a lifetime”

Healthy relationships promote brain growth and social attachment

Children who have strong parental attachment have fewer behavior problems and the parent is their buffer to stress

window of opportunity
Window of opportunity

Neuroscientists say that from birth to age three is when children learn to control emotions and cope with stress

Lack of experiences, lack of bonding will have a significant impact on the child

Abuse, neglect, constant stress can cause the body to release chemicals that impact the brains wiring

Cause smaller brain size, diminished ability to control emotions and behavior. Harder to form lasting relationships

signs of stress
Signs of Stress
  • Regression-behaviors that where typical earlier stages of development (toileting, thumb sucking)
    • Baby talk stuttering
    • Tattling Indigestion
    • Fingernail biting Teeth grinding
communicating with families about stress
Communicating with Families about Stress

Two way communications is important

Ask parents to keep teachers informed of family stressors

Parents and teachers can help with the stress children may experience

Work with the family to help the child and address the troubling behavior

Be sensitive to the parent who may also be under stress

helping children cope
Helping Children Cope

Children lack the skills to understand and handle pressure

Observe the child

Don’t be overly critical of behaviors. It can lead to more stress on the child

Talk to the child about their feelings

Offer comfort and encouragement

Teach coping behaviors

Correct any misconceptions the child may have

Make them feel worthwhile and positive


The cutest argument ever

Charlotte saying no

Charlie bit my finger


Typical behavior of children

Tattlers may be insecure

Tattlers may want attention

Teachers find tattling irritating

Build child’s self-esteem

Make one on one time for each child

Positive reinforcement will help reduce the need for tattling

exploring the body
Exploring the Body

Common for one year to explore genitals during diaper changing

As they gain control of body functions they begin to become more curious about those parts

Three year olds know the differences between the sexes

Four year olds may hold their genitals when they need to use the restroom

Five year olds may begin to manipulate genitals

How to handle?


About half of all infants suck their thumbs

18 months it reaches its peak

Starts to taper of to naptime or bedtime only

Most children will outgrow by six or seven

How to handle thumbsucking?

  • By age three most children have some kind of fear
  • Real or imaginary
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Common fears
    • Falling from high places
    • Putting face in water
    • The dark
    • People in uniforms
    • Sirens
    • Animals